Cost-effectiveness of Fluorine-18-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in tumours other than lung cancer: A systematic review

World J Radiol. 2014 Mar 28;6(3):48-55. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v6.i3.48.


Aim: To systematically review published data on the cost-effectiveness of Fluorine-18-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) or PET/computed tomography (PET/CT) in tumours other than lung cancer.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search of studies published in PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus and Embase databases through the 10(th) of October in 2013 was carried out. A search algorithm based on a combination of the terms: (1) "PET" or " PET/computed tomography (PET/CT)" or "positron emission tomography"; and (2) "cost-effectiveness" or "cost-utility" or "cost-efficacy" or "technology assessment" or "health technology assessment" was used. Only cost-effectiveness or cost-utility analyses in English language were included. Exclusion criteria were: (1) articles not within the field of interest of this review; (2) review articles, editorials or letters, conference proceedings; and (3) outcome evaluation studies, cost studies or health technology assessment reports. For each included study, information was collected concerning basic study, type of tumours evaluated, perspective/type of study, results, unit and comparison alternatives.

Results: Sixteen studies were included. Head and neck tumours were evaluated in 4 articles, lymphoma in 4, colon-rectum tumours in 3 and breast tumours in 2. Only one article was retrieved for melanoma, oesophagus and ovary tumours. Cost-effectiveness results of FDG-PET or PET/CT ranged from dominated to dominant.

Conclusion: Literature evidence about the cost-effectiveness of FDG-PET or PET/CT in tumours other than lung cancer is still limited. Nevertheless, FDG-PET or PET/CT seems to be cost-effective in selective indications in oncology (staging and restaging of head and neck tumours, staging and treatment evaluation in lymphoma).

Keywords: Cost-effectiveness; Fluorine-18-Fluorodeoxyglucose; Oncology; Positron emission tomography; Positron emission tomography /computed tomography.